SUSPECT: Ana Julia

THE prime suspect in the murder of Gabriel Ruiz is ‘cold and uncooperative’ and has refused to hand over her mobile phone, which police believe could hold key evidence. 

Ana Julia Quezada has been held by police since Sunday after she was found with the body of the eight-year-old in her car.

But according to Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, the detainee is refusing to collaborate with police, either in the investigation or the reconstruction of events.

She was also ordered to deliver her mobile phone to the cops on two occasions but she failed to do so, before claiming she lost it.

In three routine interviews in the beginning of the search, police said the Dominican Republic native demonstrated an ‘extreme coldness’ not indicative of someone who was missing a loved one.

She would soon become the prime suspect when she found a t-shirt belonging to Gabriel in an area that had already canvassed, a almost a week after the boy’s disappearance on February 27.

Other strange behaviour included persuading the parents, Patricia and Angel, to announce a €10,000 reward.

Not wanting to let Quezada know she was under suspicion, police told the parents to act normal and maintain normal relations with her while they zeroed in on their prime suspect.

TRAGIC: Gabriel was strangled to death

The mother, who always suspected Quezada, said her emotional statements were directed towards her in a bid to appeal to her conscience.

“I was hoping to soften her up and that she would break down, that at some point she would let him go, that’s why we appealed to her conscience in our appearances,” she said.

Gabriel’s parents

“I was afraid it would be like that. You could not say anything or do anything, because it was part of the investigation and could harm the boy.”

She added that his father Angel had nothing to do with it.

“He is a wonderful person, Let no one doubt him. I will be by his side because we have to overcome this together,” she said.

“It is very difficult to digest the loss of a child knowing that the person you loved killed them.”

Police put pressure on Quezada, hoping she would trip up.

After asking her to appear for a third interview last Friday, they got their wish.

That Sunday, she drove some 74km away to a farm owned by the family, where she was seen removing the boy’s body from a well before putting it in the boot of her car.

An autopsy yesterday revealed the child was strangled to death on the same day he disappeared.

Police are now trying to piece together what happened around the time Gabriel left his grandmother’s home to play with his cousins just 100 metres away – but never arrived.

Ana removed Gabriel’s body from a well

His grandmother and Ana Julia, who was also in the Las Hortichuelas house that afternoon, were the last ones to see him alive.

Patricia Ramírez, the mother of Gabriel, has asked for the messages of rage against the detainee to stop.

“I do not want everything to end with the rage that this woman has sown, Gabriel does not deserve it,” she has asked in Onda Cero’s Más de Uno programme.

It comes after dozens were seen trying to attack Quezada as she was arriving to the police station.

Ramírez also thanked the support and messages of affection she has received since the child disappeared: “Although there was no happy ending, the fish is swimming towards the sky,” she added.

After the detention of Quezada, the police are reviewing an old case.

A four-year-old daughter of Quezada who died after falling through a window 22 years ago in Burgos, in 1996.

The death of the girl was then investigated and it was concluded that it was an accident.

At that time, Ana Julia was 21 years old and lived in the well-known neighborhood of Gamonal with her husband, with whom she had a two-year-old daughter, and with the deceased minor, whom the man had adopted.

 

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